Parents Outraged Over Fitness Studio Announcing Pole-Dancing Class for Children

An Arkansas fitness center that specializes in pole-dancing exercise classes is receiving backlash from the local community after advertising a class for children.

Vixens Fitness in Paragould—a city in the northeastern part of the state—has since removed its entire Facebook page, where it originally announced the Pole4Kids class. The program was described as a pole-dancing class for mothers and their children to attend together.

However, some families in the area expressed outrage for something they feel could sexualize children.

Megan Brown, the co-founder of Hope Found of Northeast Arkansas, is one vocal critic speaking out against Vixens Fitness offering the program. Her non-profit group was created to fight human trafficking, and she said something like Pole4Kids could potentially put children in danger.

"It objectifies them," Brown told local ABC affiliate KAIT. "And the hyper-sexualization is so closely related and intertwined with child exploitation and sex trafficking."

According to KAIT, some members of the Paragould community have also claimed the owner of Vixens has a "personal relationship" with Eric Counts, a man reportedly arrested in January on charges of possessing child pornography.

Police, however, have stated there is no link between Vixens Fitness and the arrest of Counts. They also said Counts is not involved in the ownership of Vixens.

Myranda Ogles, the owner of Vixens Fitness, provided a statement to KAIT on Wednesday in which she wrote: "I have had the worst 24 hours of my life. Never have I been attacked and hated the way the people in this community have treated me."

Ogles reportedly said in the statement that she had received several death threats among other harassments since the announcement of Pole4Kids.

KAIT reported that Ogles said the idea for children's pole-dancing class did not come from her, but rather from a grandmother who had requested for her granddaughter to be able to take private lessons. Ogles also stated other parents have wanted their children to join them for classes in the studio.

Though Vixens Fitness removed the Facebook announcement of the Pole4Kids program, it is still listed on the studio's website schedule of upcoming classes. The first listing is for a June 1 class at 7:00 p.m. local time, and further Pole4Kids classes are listed going forward on Tuesdays.

The online description for the class is as follows: "Does your little one have energy to burn? Do they love to swing on jungle gyms and around stair rails? Our kids class will help your child develop strength, increase flexibility, and build body awareness all while having fun and enjoying their pole play time!"

Vixens Fitness has not made any further public announcement regarding the status of the class.

Newsweek contacted Ogles from Vixens Fitness and Hope Found of Northeast Arkansas for comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.

pole dancing
Two young female gymnasts holding by poles while hanging on them upside down during training-stock photo. An Arkansas fitness center that specializes in pole dancing exercise classes is receiving backlash from the local community after advertising a class for children. istock/Getty/ shironosov